Answering Top Three FAQs on EVs

Transportation is a subject that requires extremely careful consideration, given that it plays a significant role in addressing climate change. It is responsible for approximately a quarter of worldwide emissions, with the vehicles used for routine journeys in several parts of the world posing a massive challenge.

Recently, I participated in a discussion on the future of batteries and the materials used in their manufacture, which was part of an event conducted by a renowned technology publication. We addressed numerous inquiries during this event and the entire discussion can be accessed by subscribers (additional information is available on their website).

Numerous unanswered questions pertaining to electric vehicles (EVs) were left, and I would like to address a few of them. They are edited for brevity and clarity and were put forth by subscribers, who I express my gratitude to.

One question asked why isn’t there more emphasis on plug-in hybrids during the progression towards complete EVs, and could they have a role?

Hybrids are often sidelined in EV debates, however, I feel they certainly warrant discussion.

To clarify a couple of terminologies, all hybrid vehicles utilize both a gasoline internal-combustion engine and a battery. However, two primary types exist: plug-in hybrids, which can be charged using an EV charger and function for short distances on electricity, and conventional hybrids, which have a small battery to recover energy that might otherwise be lost to enhance gas mileage but always operate on gasoline.

Every technology that assists in reducing emissions instantly can contribute to mitigating climate change, and even a conventional hybrid can reduce emissions by approximately 20%.

From my standpoint, I believe plug-in hybrids are an excellent alternative for individuals who aren’t ready to shift to an EV. These vehicles usually have an electric range of around 50 miles, meaning that if you commute short distances, almost all your driving can be emission-free.

However, plug-ins are not flawless. Firstly, they may have higher failure rates than both EVs and gasoline-based vehicles and require slightly more maintenance. Moreover, some research has revealed that plug-in hybrids often fail to achieve the advertised full emissions benefit due to less than anticipated use of the electric mode.